Andries Pretorius wants a place in the Welsh squad this autumn
Andries Pretorius is targeting more appearances in a Welsh jersey after making his international debut in June's tour of Japan.
If my role is to simply just push the guys ahead of me then I'll gladly accept that opportunity
The Cardiff Blues man came off the bench in the first Test win in Osaka before starting in Tokyo.
He admits his first taste of Test match rugby was an eye-opening experience but is desperate to add to his two caps this season.
"It was a phenomenal experience and now I'd like to try and play against some of the home nations," said Pretorius, as he looked ahead to the new campaign.
"Generally the game is a bit more physical which suits my style of rugby and I'm really looking forward to this season now."
Asked what lessons he learnt from the Japan tour, Pretorius added: "The pace was extraordinary but more than anything it was about being clinical.
"If you make a mistake, someone is going to punish you and if you get an opportunity, you have to take it. Those are the two things both individually and collectively that we learnt from it."
With British & Irish Lions Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Toby Faletau on a high after the series win against Australia, competition in the Welsh back row is especially fierce.
Add in the likes of Josh Navidi, Rob McCusker, James King and Andrew Coombs, and you see the strength in depth available to Warren Gatland for the autumn clashes with South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia.
"If my role is to simply just push the guys ahead of me then I'll gladly accept that opportunity," said Pretorius.
Before thinking about Wales though, Pretorius is focusing on the start of the regular season with Cardiff Blues.
Phil Davies' side start their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with a trip to Glasgow before home matches with Connacht and Zebre on the new artificial surface at Cardiff Arms Park. First though, is their final pre-season game against Sale on Friday night.
"There were a couple of times last year where one score in a game cost us," said Pretorius.
"This year we've got a lot more players who have experience under their belt. They've learnt from that and had a really good pre-season. Guys who last year we classed as young players are now experienced players so I'm looking forward to seeing these guys play.
"We owe Sale one after what happened up there last year but it will be good to get into them and go into the season playing hard."
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
James Davies was one of three Welsh players announced in Team GB's men's sevens squad for Rio yesterday at a sweltering Trafalgar Square. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie battles with a Japanese tour guide as 'Cubby' reveals who has made his teammate, Sam Cross, the player he is today.
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Cardiff Blues hung on to win 23-21 in Italy and extend their unbeaten run in the Guinness PRO12 to four matches.
Having lost five and drawn one of their last 10 PRO12 visits to Italy the Blues travelled hoping to end their Italian curse.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.